On The Farm: Birk, Bostick, Bower

By Corpus Christi Hooks | March 1, 2018 4:30 PM ET

Leading up to Opening Day, cchooks.com will profile select farmhands in the Astros system. Today, we feature INF Ryne Birk, RHP Akeem Bostick, and LHP Matt Bower


Ryne Birk


BORN November 11, 1994 in Parkersburg, WV








ACQUIRED Selected in the 13th round of the June 2016 draft


Career Highlights: 2017 - Hit .266 with 15 home runs, 71 RBIs, 17 doubles, 5 triples, 60 runs, and 6 stolen bases between Buies Creek and Corpus Christi. Started 105 games at second base (.968 fielding percentage), committing 12 errors in 380 total chances. Started 7 games at third base, committing 0 errors in 18 total chances. Maintained a 14-game hit streak from June 28 to July 13 with Buies Creek (.383 AVG, .415 OBP), the 4th-longest hitting streak in the circuit during 2017. Batted .351 in 23 2nd-half contests in Carolina League. Promoted to Corpus Christi on July 19, picking up a hit and run scored in his debut at Frisco. Belted his 1st homer at AA on July 25 vs. San Antonio. Batted .292 with 6 home runs and 19 RBIs in 22 games during August, including his 1st pro grand slam on August 18 at Springfield.


2016 - Hit .293 with 4 home runs, 31 RBIs, 30 runs, and 5 stolen bases between Tri-City and Quad Cities. Began pro career with a 3-game hit streak (5-10, RBI) from June 23-25. Hit first pro home run on July 3 at Hudson Valley. Had a particularly hot stretch from July 3-11, putting together a 7-game hit streak (14-27, 2 HR, 9 RBI). Made debut with Quad Cities on August 3, going 1-4 with an RBI at Peoria. Went 3-6 with a career-high 5 RBIs on August 5 at Peoria. Recorded a hit in 5 of 7 Midwest League games.


Career Notes: Has a .973 fielding percentage and just 14 errors in 146 games started at second base.


College Notes: Hit .296 with 123 runs, 30 doubles, 8 triples, 19 home runs, 98 RBI, and 15 stolen bases over 3 seasons with Texas A&M. Earned 1st-team All-SEC honors as a junior in 2016. Before time as an Aggie, was a 4-time All-Greater Houston honoree at Seven Lakes High School.


Ryne Birk Career Stats


Akeem Bostick


BORN May 4, 1995 in Florence, SC




BATS Right



ACQUIRED Via trade from Texas in exchange for C Carlos Corporan on January 21, 2015


Career Highlights: 2017 - Went 8-7 in 22 games (16 starts) between Buies Creek and Corpus Christi. Recorded 74 strikeouts and 26 walks in 99 2/3 total innings. Fared better against left-handed hitters (.236 BA, 144 AB) than against right-handed hitters (.298 BA, 245 AB). Earned Buies Creek's Opening Day start on April 6 vs. Winston-Salem, allowing just 2 hits over 5 scoreless innings. Began campaign with a trio of scoreless outings (14 2/3 IP, 5 H). Made AA debut with Corpus Christi on April 29 vs. Frisco, tossing 5 innings and allowing just a pair of solo homers. Threw 6 scoreless innings on May 21 at Frisco, allowing just 3 hits. Put together a string of 5 solid appearances (3 starts) from June 16-July 12, tossing 22 1/3 innings while striking out 15 batters and allowing just 5 walks. Posted a 3.68 ERA (29 1/3 innings) before the Texas League All-Star break as compared to a 5.12 ERA (51 IP) after the break. Allowed 6 runs twice in second half of season on July 24 vs. San Antonio (4 1/3 IP) and August 20 at Springfield (2 1/3 IP). Dominated in Corpus Christi's regular season finale with potential playoff implications on September 4 vs. San Antonio, twirling a season-high 7 2/3 scoreless innings with a season-high 7 strikeouts in a 2-0 victory.


2016 - Earned Lancaster's Opening Day start at San Jose, spreading 1 run and 6 hits over 3 innings. Made 2 more appearances before being sidelined due to a groin injury. Returned to the JetHawks in late-June after making a pair of rehab appearances with Tri-City of the New York-Penn League. Permitted 1 hit while striking out 6 over a season-best 7 innings for the July 10 victory at Inland Empire. Surrendered just 3 earned runs over the next 3 assignments, covering 16 frames. Wrapped up this run by fanning a season-high 8 batters in 4 innings July 30 at Bakersfield. Beat Inland Empire September 2, allowing 1 unearned in 6 innings. Marked final regular-season appearance. Was the winning pitcher in the decisive Game 3 of the California League Mini-Series, scattering 4 runs and 7 hits over 6 2/3 innings. The JetHawks went on to drub Rancho Cucamonga, 21-6. Tabbed by MLB.com as Houston's No. 24 prospect entering the season.


2015 - Went 9-5 with a 4.15 ERA in 21 games (18 starts) between Quad Cities and Lancaster. Logged 1 complete game and 1 save while striking out 81 against 21 walks in 106 1/3 innings. Started the season in extended spring training. Joined Quad Cities on May 8 and hurled 5 shutout innings for the win vs. Wisconsin in debut as an Astros farmhand. Held the Midwest League to 1 earned run in 5 of next 6 appearances, closing out his Quad Cities tenure. Named the River Bandits' Pitcher of the Month for May. Went the distance June 15 vs. Great Lakes, fanning 7 while permitting 5 hits and 3 runs (1 ER). Promoted to the California League at the end of June. Was 1-2 in first 4 Lancaster appearances (3 GS) despite a 1.74 ERA and .222 opponent batting average. Rocked for 8 runs and 9 hits (1 HR) in 4 innings July 21 at San Jose. This began a 7-start stretch in which he posted a 10.92 ERA. Rebounded by winning his final 2 regular season starts, yielding 1 run each time out. Lost the decisive Game 3 of the Cal League Mini-Series vs. High Desert, allowing 5 runs (4 ER) on 3 hits and 2 walks while recording 1 out.


2014 - Entered the season as the Rangers' No. 11 prospect, according to Baseball America. Led Hickory in starts and ranked 4th on the club in innings pitched. Featured a 3.79 ERA and .247 opponent batting average in 4 April starts. From June 9 to July 3, went 3-0 with a 0.82 ERA thru 4 starts. During this stretch, turned in 3 scoreless performances and struck out 18 against 3 walks in 22 1/3 frames.


Career Notes: Originally selected by the Rangers in the 2nd round of the June 2013 draft out of West Florence High School in Florence, SC. Had committed to Georgia Southern University to play baseball and football (wide receiver). Was a 3-sport student athlete at West Florence, and went 10-0 with a 0.62 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 59 innings as a senior.


Personal Note: His cousin, Brandon Bostick, is an NFL tight end.   


Akeem Bostick Career Stats


Matt Bower


BORN June 6, 1994 in Federal Way, WA




BATS Right


SCHOOL Washington State

ACQUIRED Selected in 23rd round of the June 2015 draft


Career Highlights: 2017 - Fared better in 7 relief appearances (25 2/3 IP, 3.51 ERA) than in 15 starts (69 IP, 6.00 ERA). Allowed most home runs on Buies Creek staff. Began campaign with start on April 8 vs. Winston-Salem, allowing 4 earned runs (2 HR, 2 BB) in 3 1/3 innings. Tossed season-high 6 scoreless innings and struck out 5 batters on April 27 at Winston-Salem, earning complete game shutout due to rain. Named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week on April 30. Struggled in May, posting 7.66 ERA in 22 1/3 innings (33 H, 6 HR, 15 K, 5 BB, .351 BAA). Allowed season-high 8 earned runs (3 HR) in 4 2/3 innings on May 26 at Frederick. Bounced back with solid June (3.60 ERA, 10 IP). Roughed up on July 7 at Down East, allowing 7 earned runs (3 HR) in 4 innings. Had good stretch from July 31-August 19, making 4 appearances (2 starts) while allowing just 3 earned runs in 19 innings (13 H, 23 K, 0 BB). Finished season by allowing 5 earned runs (8 H, 3 BB, 5 K) in 4 innings during start on August 25 at Winston-Salem.


2016 - Ranked 2nd in Astros system with 136 strikeouts between Quad Cities and Lancaster. Led system with 11.1 strikeouts per-9 innings. Combined for 6-5 record with a 5.30 ERA in 24 outings (20 starts), tossing 110 1/3 innings. Began campaign at Lancaster with 4 2/3 innings (2 ER, 8 H) on April 8 at San Jose. Sent to Quad Cities, making Midwest League debut on April 10 vs. Cedar Rapids (5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 K). In first 5 outings with Quad Cities, allowed just 5 earned runs in 19 2/3 innings. Returned to Lancaster on May 14 vs. Lake Elsinore, hurling 5 scoreless frames while striking out 10 batters. Named California League Pitcher of the Week for May 9-15. Struggled in final 5 appearances with Lancaster from May 20-June 17, giving up 27 earned runs over 18/3 innings (37 H, 11 BB). Returned to Quad Cities in late June and bounced back, posting 3.58 ERA in July (27 2/3 IP, 39 K, 7 BB). Struck out career-high 11 batters twice during month: July 1 at Kane County (6 IP, 2 ER) and July 21 vs. Dayton (6 IP, 4 ER). Held 6.04 ERA in August (25 1/3 IP, 29 H, 29 K, 13 BB).


2015 - Went 4-1 with 3.08 ERA between Greenville and Tri-City. Made pro debut on July 22 vs. Bluefield, tossing a scoreless inning in relief. Promoted to Tri-City in late August. Went 4 innings and allowed 1 earned run on August 31 vs. Brooklyn. Finished campaign with 3 1/3 innings of two-run ball on September 5 vs. Connecticut.


Career Notes: Averaging 9.7 strikeouts per-9 innings and 3.61 strikeouts-per-walk.


College Notes:  Set Washington State single-season record with 31 appearances during sophomore season in 2014, all in relief.


Matt Bower Career Stats

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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